Return to Headlines

Middle School Earns National Recognition Again

The Ballston Spa Middle School has earned the designation as an Essential Elements School to Watch by the New York State Education Department again in 2018 after a lengthy review process.  The Middle School is one of only thirty-one schools in New York State since 2004 that have achieved this prestigious national honor.  This redesignation is the culmination of a lengthy self-review and planning process, and ultimately an in depth, two day site review from an external review team. 

The national Essential Elements: Schools to Watch Program identifies schools across the states that meet criteria for high performance.  High-performing middle schools have distinguished themselves and excel in the areas of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organization and structure. The school will be formally recognized and honored at the upcoming National Schools to Watch Conference, June 27-30, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

“Receiving this honor for the second time reaffirms our commitment to continuous improvement and demonstrates to our community that the work we’ve done over the last six years has true sustainability,” said Pamela Motler, Principal of the Ballston Spa Middle School.  In addition, “We will continue to look for ways to be forward thinking when making decisions regarding programming for our students.”

As both a State and National School to Watch, the Middle School is formally recognized as a model of exemplary implementation of the Essential Elements; has made, and continues to make, marked progress in meeting all eligibility criteria, including measurable gains in the academic achievement of all students; is willing to serve as a model and mentor for other schools seeking to improve and is committed to continuing its own efforts to improve and provide an exemplary educational program and learning experience for young adolescents.

Additional information on the program is available on the New York State Middle School Association’s Schools to Watch website at Please contact the Ballston Spa Middle School for more details at (518) 884-7200.

 The Ballston Spa Middle School Staff receive congratulations for their School to Watch Redesignation during a BOE Meeting.

In the Photo: The Ballston Spa Middle School Staff receive congratulations for their School to Watch Redesignation during a Board of Education presentation in early May 2018.